News broke early today that Canadian Kirk Woodman, who went missing on Jan. 15, was found dead the following day in Burkina Faso. He was abducted Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen from a site owned by his employer Progress Minerals
of White Rock, B.C. Woodman was the company’s VP exploration.
[caption id="attachment_1003726605" align="alignleft" width="163"] Kirk Woodman was the VP exploration at Progress Minerals. (Linked-In photo)
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was appalled. “Canada condemns those responsible for this terrible crime. We are working with the government of Burkina Faso and other international partners to pursue those responsible and bring them to justice,” said Freeland in a statement Thursday morning.
"Kirk was an incredibly accomplished and highly respected geologist with a career spanning over 30 years, with 20 years spent in West Africa. More importantly, Kirk was a kind person, a dedicated father and husband and considered a friend by all who knew him," commented Adam Spencer, CEO of Progress Minerals.
Progress Minerals has been working to earn a 70% interest in Bira Trend from Predictive Discovery by spending US$5 million on exploration by October 2021, after which time a joint venture will be formed.
We do not know that Progress or Woodman’s family received a ransom demand, and we can only speculate on the reason behind the kidnapping.
Nor is Woodman the only Canadian to go missing recently in this African country. Edith Blais of Sherbrooke, Que., and her companion were last heard from on Dec. 15.
For anyone – valued employee or tourist – to go missing in a foreign country is undesirable, to say the least. The worst-case scenario is to be found murdered like Woodman. What makes the crime especially heinous is that the dead person was part of a team that could have helped bring training, opportunity and prosperity to local communities.
Our condolences go out to Woodman’s family, friends and co-workers.